Storm Isha wreaked havoc across the UK, leaving thousands without power due to heavy rain and winds reaching up to 99mph. The storm severely affected Scotland, Northern Ireland, north-west England, and Wales, with warnings that some remote areas may remain without power until Tuesday. Two fatalities were reported, including an 84-year-old man in Scotland whose car crashed into a fallen tree.
Following Storm Isha, Storm Jocelyn is expected to bring more strong winds and rain to Northern Ireland and parts of Britain from Tuesday. The upcoming storm, the tenth since September, is predicted to bring wind gusts ranging from 55 to 65mph across north-western Scotland. However, these gusts are not expected to surpass the speeds recorded during Storm Isha, which reached 99mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland according to the Met Office.
The storm caused significant disruption to transport services, with ScotRail, Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink and East Midlands Railway services all facing disruption on Monday. Air travel was also affected, with hundreds of flights cancelled and others diverted to France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Power outages affected approximately 53,000 homes in Northern Ireland at the peak of the storm. On Monday morning, around 30,000 properties across England, Wales and Scotland were still without power. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak assured that the government was working diligently with authorities to restore power.
Lawrence Slade from the Energy Networks Association (ENA) warned that some properties, particularly in remote areas, might remain without power until Tuesday due to difficulties in coordinating engineer teams across the UK.
In the Republic of Ireland, about 235,000 homes and businesses experienced outages. Additionally, several schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland remained closed on Monday.
The Met Office issued amber warnings covering Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and large parts of England on Sunday. A rare red warning was also issued for areas in the north and east of Scotland. Further amber and yellow warnings for wind and rain have been issued for Tuesday.
Storm Isha is the ninth named storm of the season that began in September 2023, with Storm Jocelyn becoming the tenth. If two more storms are named by August, the 2023-24 season will set a new record.
The Met Office names storms when they have the potential to cause significant disruption or damage. The naming of storms, which began in 2015, helps people track the progress of a storm across various media platforms.
The impact of climate change on the frequency of storms remains uncertain. However, a warming atmosphere increases the likelihood of extreme rainfall. The world has warmed by about 1.1C since the start of the industrial era.